Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On Passing a Mormon-Abducted Child's Birthday, and the Rites of Spring

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon—

In nature, Spring is a time of renewal. The awful weather Winter brings is fading, the days grow longer and sunnier and a new generation emerges. It is a time for optimism, for looking forward, and for many a season of fruition beckons, fulfilling family milestones, school graduations, marriages and new adventures.

Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is a story about the sacrifice of a young girl’s life in order to suit some pagan agenda, to satisfy their belief that a horrible criminal act would please a Deity with whom they imagined they had a special relationship.

Which reminds me of the Mormons who kidnapped my children, and of that awful first Spring.

My late, kidnapped son Aaron’s birthday is March 21, and his was the first of my four children’s birthdays to pass by after they disappeared on February 12, 1996, on their way to concealment in a series of remote Mormon enclaves in Utah.

There would be no more birthday celebrations for the Cruz family once they entered Utah. We would never have contact on a birthday or any other family day ever again, once the Mormons had gained control over their lives.

I would fight to locate and regain contact with my children through four jurisdictions in three states, all while counting the days, each day, living one day at a time, day after joyless day, hopeless days on end….

So I missed my son’s birthday, that first birthday some six weeks after the beginning of the kidnapping (abductions are continuing crimes, meaning the crime continues until the abduction ends with the recovery of the victim), and I know it broke his heart.

This was a clear sign of the cruelty of his Mormon kidnappers. They knew they were breaking my children’s hearts, and they did this time and again.

The Mormons feel a need to separate the world into its “Members” and everyone else, and they run a very sophisticated operation to keep people from leaving their church.

The most common reason the Mormons lose converts is to family influence, so they have developed techniques to carve families apart. Some are subtle, but others are fundamental, such as forbidding non-Mormon parents from attending their Mormon-convert adult children’s weddings.

Once they were taken to Utah, my children did what they had to do to survive. Some succumbed to the coercion and inducements. Aaron did not, and my other children had to watch him suffer for years, all while growing up with their own tormented, confused feelings. And they would suffer together through their mother’s 3-Mormon-stepdads-in-3-states wedding spree.

It is not only this time of the year that I think about Aaron’s birthday, or those of my surviving, still-abducted children. The feelings are very long-lasting, and seem to last the whole year, year after year.

I’m working on those renewal feelings, and making good progress, with the help of my friends….

And while I’m thinking about Aaron right now, Natalia, Tyler and Allie are also in my heart. Your birthdays may be far away on the calendar, but I can feel them from here.